Fashion Types of Aesthetics and Style

A Guide to Fashion Types of Aesthetics and Style

Fashion allows us to express our individuality and personality through the clothes we wear. Beyond just clothing items, fashion types of aesthetics and subcultures provide a sense of belonging and community for people who share similar tastes and styles. From goth to preppy, streetwear to avant-garde, there are endless options when it comes to aesthetics and building your own personal style.

Mainstream Fashion Aesthetics

Mainstream fashion refers to the types of styles and aesthetics that are considered widely popular and accessible. These looks tend to dominate fashion magazines, retail stores, and what people wear on a day-to-day basis.


Preppy Fashion Types of Aesthetics and Style

The preppy style is classic, clean, and conservative. The preppy aesthetic originated on Ivy League campuses in the early 1900s and remains a staple in many school and country club uniforms today.

Key elements of the preppy wardrobe include:

  • Polo shirts, cable knit sweaters, blazers, khaki pants or skirts
  • Dress shirts with sweaters or sweater vests
  • Boat shoes, loafers, oxfords
  • Pearls, diamond stud earrings
  • Cardigans, pullover sweaters
  • Plaid, argyle, stripes
  • Bold prints and colors are avoided

Brands popular with preppy dressers include Brooks Brothers, Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, and J.Crew.

Business Casual

Business casual dress codes have become increasingly common in today’s workplaces. The business casual aesthetic balances professionalism with a bit of stylish flair.

Typical business casual pieces include:

  • Khakis, chinos, ankle pants, skirts
  • Polos, button-downs, blouses
  • Sweaters, cardigans
  • Loafers, Oxfords, ballet flats
  • Blazers, sportcoats

The business casual look maintains a pulled-together appearance while foregoing formalities like ties and suit jackets. It allows for some personalized style in a professional setting.


Contemporary fashion design is marked by clean silhouettes and a minimalist sensibility. Fashionable clothing tends to have a casual elegance perfect for everyday wear.

Hallmarks of the contemporary aesthetic include:

  • Neutral color palettes
  • Quality fabrics like silk, linen, cashmere
  • Tailored yet relaxed fits
  • Subtle patterns and prints
  • Versatile, mix-and-match pieces
  • Little extra decoration or embellishment

Contemporary fashion focuses on effortless sophistication. These timeless, investment-worthy pieces can serve as the foundation of any wardrobe.

Subcultures and Street Style

Subcultures and Street Style

Beyond the fashion mainstream are countless subcultures, scenes, and tribes defined by their shared aesthetics and interests. These special-style communities allow people to really let their individuality shine.


Grunge fashion is rugged and rebellious, inspired by the sounds and attitudes of alternative music scenes in the 1990s. It challenges traditional beauty standards by embracing flaws, imperfections, and a carefree attitude.

Hallmarks of grunge style include:

  • Flannel shirts, band tees
  • Ripped jeans, leather pants
  • Combat boots, Converse sneakers
  • Plaid shirts tied around the waist
  • Beanies, knit caps
  • Messy hair, little makeup

Grunge fashion allows you to relax and focus on comfort while rejecting polish and perfection. The laidback aesthetic pairs well with punk and skater influences.


Goth style encompasses punk, emo, industrial, and metal aesthetics to create an edgy, futuristic, and darkly romantic look. Black clothing, bold makeup, and punk accessories express the goth subculture’s embrace of all things macabre and melancholy.

Common goth pieces include:

  • Black dresses, shirts, pants
  • Chains, chokers, corsets, mesh tops
  • Skulls, crucifixes, bats, spiderwebs
  • Fishnet tights ripped tights
  • Dark eyeliner, black nail polish
  • Boots, platform shoes
  • Dyed black hair

Gothic fashion allows you to reinvent yourself as a brooding, mysterious figure and architect of your own identity.


Harajuku style originated on the streets of Tokyo’s iconic Harajuku district. It’s characterized by bold colors, patterns, and textures mixed in inventive ways. The look celebrates creative personal expression and experimentation with beauty and fashion conventions.

Eye-catching elements in the Harajuku style include:

  • Bright hair colors – pink, blue, rainbow
  • Pastels and neon color schemes
  • Kawaii-style accessories – cat ears, cosplay
  • Eclectic layering and pattern mixing
  • Platform boots, creepers
  • Mismatched socks
  • Graphic t-shirts, hoodies

Harajuku fashion is all about fun self-expression. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and ignore traditional rules.


Streetwear encompasses casual, comfortable clothing like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sneakers. It started as clothing created by skaters, surfers, and hip-hop heads but grew into a full fashion movement centered on expressive, exclusive designs.

Common streetwear pieces include:

  • Graphic print hoodies, tees
  • Bomber jackets, track jackets
  • Baseball caps, dad hats, bucket hats
  • Sneakers – Chuck Taylors, Jordans, Yeezys
  • Oversized fits, cropped tops
  • Ripped or baggy denim
  • Logos and graphic prints

Popular streetwear brands include Supreme, Bape, and Kith – known for their capsules and collaborations. Streetwear style allows you to showcase your interests and obsessions through your clothing.

Dressing for Your Body Type

No matter your preferred aesthetic, it helps to know your body type. Understanding your proportions helps guide you toward the silhouettes, styles, and pieces that will be most flattering.

There are 5 main female body types:


Defined by a fuller bust and hips balanced by a narrow waist. Look for:

  • Fitted styles that accentuate your curves
  • Wrap dresses, peplum tops
  • High waisted bottoms
  • V-necks, scoop necks
  • A-line skirts


Apple shapes carry more weight in the torso and upper body. Look for:

  • Flowy tops, peasant blouses
  • Wrap dresses
  • V-necks
  • High waisted bottoms
  • Layering – open cardigans, jackets
  • Darker colors on the bottom, lighter on the top


With fuller hips balanced by a smaller bust and waist. Look for:

  • A-line dresses, skirts
  • Tops and dresses with ruffles or details
  • High waisted bottoms
  • Cropped jackets
  • Monochromatic looks


Minimal difference between waist, hip, and bust measurements. Look for:

  • Belts to add definition
  • Ruffles, puffed shoulders, peplum
  • Wrap dresses
  • A-line silhouettes
  • Bold patterns and details

Inverted Triangle

Broader shoulders and bust, narrower hips. Look for:

  • Details like ruffles at the hip line
  • Low waist bottoms
  • V-necks
  • Wraps tops
  • Layering – fitted underneath, looser on top

Finding Your Unique Style

Finding Your Unique Style

Defining your own personal aesthetics and style comes down to understanding your tastes, lifestyle, and the image you want to convey. Finding pieces that make you feel confident and reflect who you truly are is key.

Here are some tips for cultivating your unique fashion sense:

  • Take inspiration from people you admire – celebs, influencers, fictional characters even. What do you like about their look?
  • Keep an inspiration folder with outfits, pieces, and looks you love. Notice patterns in what draws you in.
  • Focus on fit, fabric, and feel rather than just trends. Get what excites you – not what’s fleetingly popular.
  • Know which silhouettes, colors, and styles you feel best in. These will be your fashion building blocks.
  • Build a versatile wardrobe of essentials like jeans, t-shirts, and button-downs that express your basics. Then layer on statement pieces.
  • Thrift stores are great for taking style risks and experimenting without big expense. Try new things.
  • Alter and DIY pieces to make them feel more you – distressing, cropping, dyeing, embellishing.

Your aesthetics and style will evolve but stay true to pieces that feel like an authentic expression of your spirit and creativity. Fashion should be fun and make you feel like the best version of yourself!


Fashion types of aesthetics and style offer endless options for self-expression beyond just clothes and trends. Subcultures, color palettes, silhouettes, and styling details all communicate who we are as individuals. Defining your own unique look is an ongoing process of evolution and embracing what feels authentically you. Use inspiration from fashion icons, mood boards, and experimentation to hone in on your distinctive flair. Most importantly, have fun with fashion on your own terms.


Q: What are some examples of feminine fashion aesthetics?

A: Some examples of feminine aesthetics include romantic styles with florals and ruffles, boho looks with flowing fabrics, pastels, and lavender colors, cottagecore peasant dresses, and soft glam styles with elegant fabrics and silhouettes.

Q: How do you find the best fashion aesthetic for your personality?

A: Think about the traits you want to express – intellectual, edgy, feminine, artistic, elegant – and seek aesthetics that align like preppy, goth, soft glam, art hoe, or minimalist. Also consider the colors, textures, silhouettes, and details you are intuitively drawn to.

Q: What is Y2K fashion?

A: Y2K fashion is inspired by trends and pop culture from the early 2000s and includes low-rise jeans, velour tracksuits, bedazzled details, tube tops, and halter styles. Brands like Juicy Couture defined the bold, flashy Millennial aesthetic.

Q: What makes streetwear different than other aesthetics?

A: Streetwear focuses on casual comfort while still making bold statements. Graphic tees, oversized fits, sneakers, and logos that telegraph interest define the streetwear difference. It rejects formal conventions and embraces subcultures.

Q: What are some tips for dressing androgynous or gender-neutral?

A: Wear straight-leg pants, oversized button-downs, hoodies, textured fabrics, and minimal jewelry for an androgynous look. Prioritize clean lines and silhouettes not overtly masculine or feminine. Focus on your personal aesthetics and style over gender norms.

Vincent Gross
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